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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir, Gotham City and a madman
Abandoning the usual clown-like gimmicks and superhero storytelling, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo take us on a nightmarish journey into the Joker's life outside Arkham Asylum.

The Joker isn't a supervillain who toys with Batman here, he is a very violent and disturbed man who lives on sex, drugs and murder. He is really just a coked up gangster but his...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Sean Wilson-blake

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Joke's on us.
I loved the artwork for this book - both the cover and that of the book itself, it's excellent. Like people have commented in other reviews, this tale is pretty light on Batman, which shouldn't be a problem when you have a character as interesting and complex as the Joker to go at. Unfortunately, this complexity doesn't really come across in this book. The main character...
Published 2 months ago by Time To Waste


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir, Gotham City and a madman, 31 July 2011
By 
Sean Wilson-blake (Mauchline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joker¹ (Hardcover)
Abandoning the usual clown-like gimmicks and superhero storytelling, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo take us on a nightmarish journey into the Joker's life outside Arkham Asylum.

The Joker isn't a supervillain who toys with Batman here, he is a very violent and disturbed man who lives on sex, drugs and murder. He is really just a coked up gangster but his unpredictable actions and unreliability are still classic Joker, but just a lot darker.

About 130 pages long, it is a reasonably quick read as the story flows well and the artwork is just outstanding. My only qualm is that it could of been longer. But I'm not too bothered with that as the novel is gripping from start to finish.

Another great thing is the addition of noir blended in with these "super" villains. We have a dirty private eye, a realistic looking Gotham City, troubled characters, detailed violence and an overall very dark atmosphere. It's like James Ellroy mixed with superhero fiction.

It's one of the greatest graphic novels I've ever read but its' strictly an adults only comic. Containing disturbing bloody violence, plenty of bad language, sex, drug use and just darkness, this certainly isn't a kids read. This is the way the Joker is meant to be. A disgusting human being with his morbid look on life. Life is about death to him, and darkness all over.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark & Gritty Graphic Novel, 22 Aug. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
Joker (Graphic Novel).

Product Info.
Hardback Edition.
128Pages.
Written By Brian Azzarello.
Illustration By Lee Bermejo.

(Warning Joker contains strong language, sexual references & drug abuse & is not suitable for young children).

What's The Story.
The Joker after yet another stint in Arkham Asylum, The Joker finds "his city" divided among mobsters & costumed villains, including The Riddler, Two Face, Killer Croc, Penguin, Harley Quinn & even the dark knight himself Batman.

Not content to settle for a piece of the pie, The Joker vows to take back the whole damn criminal underworld beneath Gotham City by any means necessary.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a excellent graphic novel that delves into the mind of Gothams most psychotic criminal as Joker is a brutal uncompromising read that pushes the boundaries & doesn't hold back on the violence as it shows the Joker to be a sadistic violent unhinged psychopath that's tone is written for a more mature audience as it details sexual themes, drug use & strong bloody violence with some great illustrations by the excellent Lee Bermejo who brings this story to life & off the page as Bermejo has created some stunning imagery to writer Brian Azzarello story.

Brian Azzarello has written a excellent story here the main focus being on the clown prince of crime & allows the reader to delve into the Jokers psyche.

Anyone expecting a full on Batman story will be sorely disappointed & while Batman does appear along with some of Gothams more sinister villains which includes The Riddler, Two Face, Killer Croc, Penguin, Harley Quinn, this graphic novel's main focus is always on the Joker & never loses sight that this is his adventure & delivers a gritty tension filled intriguing storyline which only negative is that it's a short read at only 128 pages long.

I can't recommend this graphic novel enough as it's a very dark & disturbing adventure & certainly isn't not suitable for younger children due to the novels dark subject matter, but for older mature fan's, Joker is a excellent solid graphic novel experience & well worth a read if your a fan of Batman stories.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Joke's on us., 12 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
I loved the artwork for this book - both the cover and that of the book itself, it's excellent. Like people have commented in other reviews, this tale is pretty light on Batman, which shouldn't be a problem when you have a character as interesting and complex as the Joker to go at. Unfortunately, this complexity doesn't really come across in this book. The main character is Jonny Frost, a criminal seeking to move up in the world who sees an association with the Joker as the way to do it. Forgetting for a moment that we all know this to be an absolutely terrible idea, the purpose of Jonny being there really is to provide us with a neutral perspective on the Joker. Jonny hasn't met him before, so everything Joker does is revelatory to him. However, the things Joker does are, for the most part, fairly unimaginative. He shakes people down, shoots them, burns down bars and so on, all with no particular pattern or grand scheme, just for the sake of doing it more than anything. Azzarello has somehow managed to take a cunning, scheming, menacing character and reduce him to the level of a two-bit hood, as if the Joker of this book has seen the real one in action and is doing a bad impression of him. There is no "plot" as such, just a number of beautifully illustrated examples of the Joker doing nasty things with no apparent purpose. The narration from Jonny is fairly workaday stuff that sounds like it came from the barrel of generic mafia storylines, and the finale doesn't advance anything in the world of Gotham in the slightest. The one exchange between Joker and Batman features a totally out of the blue, pseudo-psychological line of questioning from Joker with no preamble whatsoever, as if it's an exchange Azzarello thought would be cool for them to have and decided to put it in, regardless of whether or not it made any sense.

The artwork and overall presentation really does save this book from total mediocrity, making it worth buying for those alone. Just don't expect much depth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter in the dark, 9 Nov. 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Joker¹ (Hardcover)
In this one-off non-canon book, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, both extraordinary artists, imagine a more realistic take on Joker partly in the style of Chris Nolan's "Dark Knight" film. The story is told through the eyes of Jonny Frost, a low-level thug sent to pick up a newly-released Joker from Arkham Asylum. Joker sets about reclaiming his criminal empire against Two-Face with the help of Killer Croc.

Re-reading this 4 years after I first picked it up, the book still retains its power and brilliance. Azzarello creates a Joker with newly revealed sides to his character than just the insane murderer he's usually portrayed as. In a brilliant one panel aside, Joker is seen in private on his knees, arms wrapped around Harley Quinn, sobbing, as we really see his relationship with her - she is the only one he can truly be himself with. Azzarello's Joker is a pill-popping junkie, snorting lines and chugging brown liquor, fuelling his rampages to explain his extreme behaviour than simply writing off his actions as those of a crazy man.

Azzarello and Bermejo utilise comics' unique format of the spaces between the panels to intimate some truly heinous actions by Joker. In one scene Joker randomly wanders into an apartment and murders an elderly couple in their beds with a razor blade, but the reader sees only the break-in and a murky aftermath as Joker lies on the bed atop contorted and bloodied human forms, the blade glinting off to the side. Later, Jonny's wife is saved from Two-Face and it's hinted that Joker then raped her before setting her free. Azzarello's vision of Joker in this book is far more human and far more scary in moments like this than has been seen before in other comics. This makes Joker even scarier as he seems almost charming and likeable in moments of (seemingly) sober contemplation, as both the narrator and the reader find themselves warming to him despite his horrible deeds.

Lee Bermejo draws the book beautifully. His Joker takes his cue from Heath Ledger's visual portrayal with the cut-open mouth making up a grotesque clown's smile but otherwise it's the familiar Joker of old minus the stark white face and a more cut figure. I thought his depiction of Croc as less a mutant-lookalike and more a thug with a real-life skin disease was an inspired choice though his depiction of Batman's outfit (he appears briefly at the end) was a bit too S&M, there were too many straps. You won't find a more brilliant artist drawing Batman comics today - I highly recommend checking out his own Batman scripted and drawn book "Batman: Noel" for another example of his fantastic art as well as an excellent Batman book.

"Joker" is an incredible book, maybe the best one about Joker ever written - yes I'm including "Killing Joke". Azzarello captures Joker's voice and character perfectly, making all the right artistic choices with the other characters. While the book's plot doesn't really resolve itself, hinging on a "Pulp Fiction"-type literary device, the book is less about plot and story and more about giving the reader a fully realised character study of the Joker. In that, the book succeeds completely, complimented perfectly with Bermejo's gorgeous art. "Joker" is a powerful vision of one of the best literary villains ever created and a must-read for all Batman fans. If you enjoyed this, definitely look up Azzarello and Bermejo's previous book on another DC villain, "Lex Luthor".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jonny and the Joker, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
A hardcover graphic novel, telling a complete story in one hundred and thirty pages. All about Batman's arch enemy.

The clown prince of crime himself. The Joker.

The story is narrated by, and seen through the eyes of, Jonny Frost. A low level Gotham mobster who volunteers to go and pick the Joker up when he is released from Arkham Asylum. When nobody else wants to do it.

Whilst Joker was locked away, all the organised crime that he controlled in the city fell into the hands of others. Joker wants things back. And goes about getting them his way.

With Jonny along for the ride. Because he likes what he sees and wants to do things the way Joker does.

He's about to learn a few things...

The artwork by Lee Bermejo is distinctive and eye catching. It looks pretty realistic and does stand out. Thanks also to some excellent colouring.

This is a very dark tale, and although it's not labelled as such, it's really only suitable for mature readers. There are some rather graphic moments.

It does present Gotham and it's denizens in a way that tries to be realistic [this was released in 2008, the same year when The Dark Knight hit the cinema screen. Something that tried to do the same] and it does make the look of one regular villain a little more realistic as a result.

It's a compelling read, as you're along with Jonny for the ride. Always wondering something that he doesn't. How will it all end out?

The resolution isn't anything major or something that really packs a punch, but it does fit the story the writer is trying to tell.

All in all a different take on familiar things that will stick in the mind for a while. And it's worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 31 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Joker (Kindle Edition)
This novel delves deep into the criminal mind of The Joker. Not only does it introduce a narration from a unknown character called Johnny Frost but it gives you a dark and scarce perspective of The Jokers sadistic nature through the eyes of the character . This makes of a interesting and intriguing read that you just won't want to put down. Although it is a short novel it will make you want to read it again and again to appreciate how well Brian Azzarello has put together a interesting story. I am happy I have added this to my collection and is worth five stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 30 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
A must buy for joker fans, absolutely brilliant read and amazing art work. Bought this for my boyfriend but i couldn't resist, i had to read it myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well I liked it., 22 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
I liked this book, I thought the artwork was dazzling, especially the painted pictures, never before has The Joker looked so striking or so cool. The re imaging of Gotham was cool and interesting.

Though it wasn't a particularly deep tale and certainly not the definitive take on The Joker, he lacked a lot of style a finesse that makes him such a popular villain. The plots basic enough and a lot of the themes that run through the book are spelt out. Unlike Alan Moore's brilliant tale "The Killing Joke" this book won't leave you thinking about it once its done.

I'd say its worth a read through, but certainly not a classic or something worth obsessing over. Make sure not to engage your brain while reading this and its fun enough to warrant purchasing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Comic, 30 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Joker HC (The Joker) (Hardcover)
This was the first ever comic I read and had to buy it for my brother for xmas! I no he will love it! The artwork is fantastic and I am now hooked and want to read more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 31 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Joker (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic comic, loved every minute. The Joker was portrayed in the way he is supposed to be, no cheesy features about the Joker in this comic.
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Joker HC (The Joker)
Joker HC (The Joker) by Brian Azzarello (Hardcover - 29 Oct. 2008)
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